The second project for this week is this awesome Grapevine Mirror tutorial!
Earlier today I posted a blog post showing off some birds that we created back in June. There are two projects this week: “Winging It” or “Fancy Bird” here on the blog and this Grapevine Mirror Tutorial. Both of these projects are found in our current book, “Polymer Clay & Mixed Media Together at Last” by Christi Friesen on pages 66 and 34, respectfully. Also, for those of you Kindle devotees, this book is also available for your Kindle!
GrapeVine Mirror Tutorial
- “Polymer Clay & Mixed Media Together at Last” by Christi Friesen
- Your choice of polymer clay in browns, greens, & purples
- Beads to use for decorations
- Bake & Bond or Liquid Polymer Clay (optional)
- Mica Powders (Several Options – My preference is a Perfect Pearl Set as they are permanent & do not require a varnish due to the resin ) or blending chalks
- Needle Tool
- Baby wipes or soft sponge
- Sculpting tools
- Exacto Knife
- Oven – to bake your finished piece in
- Pasta Machine
Since we have gone through so many of Christi’s tutorials and books together, many of the techniques for the upcoming projects have been featured on the blog already. In this case, I will provide clickable links so you can easily access those tutorials for more detailed instructions.
- Make a “Lookat” blend.
- Place your mirror on the blend and cut a circle around the mirror.
- Using your sculpting skills, place the mirror in the center of the blend, then cover the mirrors’ edges by wrapping the excess clay around to the front (see page 34-25).
- NOTE: Christi shows her project using raffia. I did not use raffia because I wanted to give this as a gift and I was afraid my cat would eat the raffia before I had the opportunity to gift it! ACK! I used all polymer clay and you can as well.
- To add all polymer clay “vines” you can do them simple with long snakes, or like I did mine with twisted snakes … why did I do that you ask … because I could. Experiment and see what you like the best!
- There are lots of leaf tutorials here on the blog, here’s the link to the leaves that Christi used in this vine.
- I used the remainder of my Panda project leaf cane and simply cut thick slices from is & added details with my needle tool.
- NOTE: The cane tutorial not shown on this blog, please purchase Christi’s “Down Under” book on page 18 for full instructions to create that cane.
- To make your grapes, first make a base to add your grapes to by making a “lookat blend” using purples, blues, and perhaps a touch of fuchsia!
- Cut a teardrop shape from your blend. Making this base will ensure they stay put.
- To make your individual grapes, use the same “look at blend,” and pull little bits off your blend and roll into balls.
- Gently pat the balls down onto your teardrop.
- Now take your “grapes” and carefully add them onto your grapevined mirror.
- NOTE: If you have “heavy fingers” use your sculpting tools to help you so that you don’t smoosh all your hard work.
Add the Details
- Now it’s time to have some fun!
- Add the embellishments to your mirror. Use swirls, curls, beads, canes, the choice is yours.
- Using a needle tool or ball tools, add details that can be picked up later by adding a patina.
- Finally, before you bake your project, add any highlights or low-lights using gold & bronze mica powders to the vines and purple mica powders to the grapes.
- Depending on the type of clay used (premo, sculpey, cernit, kato, or pardo): bake in the oven at 265-275 degrees, covered in foil, for approximately 45-60 minutes.
- If you would like to antique your piece, see this tutorial and add a patina after your piece has fully cooled.
- NOTES: You do NOT have to varnish this piece if you choose not to. However, if you have used Pearl-FX powders, they will rub off over time, so varnishing your piece would help. If you have used Perfect Pearls (my favorites) they contain a built in resin and are permanent after baking. In other words, they will NEVER rub off.
The Friesen Project
The Friesen Project is done in conjunction with Christi Friesen. All tutorials are retaught here with her expressed permission. Please make sure to read about the project here, and get answers to the most common FAQS here.